Epistle: Galatians 5. 16-24; Gospel: St. Matthew 6. 24-33
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The sin of idolatry, condemned by our Lord in the Gospel today, begins
in the overweening concern for things, for money, for other persons. Any
person, place or thing which we admit to first place in our lives becomes
an idol, for the first place in our hearts, mind and souls belongs to God
Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant
temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man
commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of
God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure,
race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God
and mammon." (Matthew 6:24) Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"
(Cf. Revelation 13-14) refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry
rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion
with God." (Origen, Contra Celsum 2, 40: PG 11, 861.) (CCC 2113)
The Lord gives us a practical rule of life in order that we may successfully
avoid the sin of idolatry while at the same time living in harmony with
the beauty of creation and having our natural needs fulfilled: "Seek first
the kingdom of God and his service and all these things will be given you
as well.' (Matthew 6, 33)
Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment
to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless
disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense.
An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God
to anything other than God." (CCC 2114)
Not only our spiritual integrity and eternity depends upon the true
worship of the true God, but our sanity and worldly happiness as well.
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy",
- Father Cusick
See also CCC 305, 1942, 2113, 2424, 2848)
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.